Good food, sustainable tourism initiatives, lovely locals, and breath-taking views of lush forests, towering volcanoes, and unique wildlife? It's not a fairytale, it's some of the many things Costa Rica has to offer to curious tourists! Costa Rica has taken the traveling world by storm and is one of the most popular travel destinations.

Costa Rica is the ideal destination for adventurous backpackers, romantic honeymooners, and thrill-seeking families; with 51,000 km2, this tropical country offers a little something for every traveler and every travel style. Those who intend on visiting Costa Rica may be surprised to discover some pretty interesting things about this Central American country!

9 Costa Rica's Climate Supports Rich Coffee Bean Growth

Coffee lovers and avid wanderlusters should head on over to Costa Rica, where their ideal climate of high altitudes, rich organic soils, and rainfall make it a perfect land to produce vast fields of coffee plants. Costa Rica is known for its high-quality Arabica coffee beans, due to the loving care that is placed into growing these difficult plants (they are also handpicked, making them even more special). Coffee aficionados can happily learn how coffee beans are processed and grown with tours provided by facilities such as Doka Estate or Espirit Santo.

8 "Pura Vida" Is Not Only A Phrase, It's A Way of Life

When translated to English, "Pura Vida" means "pure life". It's certainly true that the phrase is one that is seen countless times within tourist brochures and during popular tourist excursions, but "Pura Vida" is also a phrase heavily ingrained in Costa Rica. Between locals, "Pura Vida" can be a catch-all term for many phrases, from a simple friendly greeting to a heartwarming goodbye to loved ones. For visitors, "Pura Vida" is a phrase inviting tourists to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy Costa Rica has to offer.

7 People Live Longer In Costa Rica

Surprisingly, unlike many countries such as the US, Iceland, or Japan, Costa Rican males who turn 80, are likely to live longer than their global counterparts...specifically, 8.2 years longer on average. It's common to see elderly locals in their 90s, especially among the communities of Nicoya Peninsula in Southern Guanacaste. Whether it's living in a beautiful vibrant country, being surrounded by a variety of loved ones in the form of family and friends, or enjoying a quality of life, the secret to longevity may lie in Costa Rica.

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6 Their Volcanoes Are A Natural Marvel

Costa Rica is home to 5 active volcanoes, and each one is a marvel in and of itself. Just under 2 hours from San José, visitors can get away from the city bustle and visit Poás Volcano National Park (which can still get packed with tourists, even early in the day). Tourists can also head to Braulio Carrillo National Park to check out the Barva Volcano, a 9,500 feet volcano that has been inactive for over 3,000 years. Visitors are guaranteed to enjoy spotting a variety of local flora and fauna, thanks to the lush flourish that bless the Park.

5 Unravel the Marvel of Costa Rica Through Rural Tourism

Through several rural tourism (RT) and community-based rural tourism (CRT) initiatives, visitors can learn more about rural living in Costa Rica while enjoying the local culture, food, and rich traditions among the locals. These initiatives offer personalized tours for visitors looking to immerse themselves in a new culture. Through Costa Rica's Sustainability Certification Program (SCP), numerous accommodations have teamed up with Costa Rica's Tourism Board to provide sustainable and local experiences for curious travelers.

4 Costa Rica Is Home To One Of The Most Beautiful Bird In The World

Travelers who've never laid eyes on Costa Rica's quetzal will be in for a surprise. The near-endangered species is adorned with bright green plumage that pairs perfectly with its strikingly red belly. Quetzals are considered the national bird of Guatemala, but you can find this colorful bird in the Los Quetzales National Park in San José's Copey and Dota districts. This national park consists of "cloud" forests, where many of the trees are bathed in various plant species. Visitors heading to the Park will enjoy seeing a variety of trees and wildlife, especially those that are endemic to the region.

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3 Chocolate Lovers Can Walk Limón's Cacao Trails

Whether tourists are a fan of pure dark or decadent milk chocolate, chocolate lovers can unite and learn about the makings of a good chocolate bar at CACAO TRAIL TAKYU. Visitors can embark on a one or two-hour tour, strolling through CACAO TRAIL TAKYU's tropical botanical forests (while spotting some local wildlife along the way), then learn about cacao's history, while gaining insightful knowledge on how chocolate is prepared. CACAO TRAIL TAKYU also features a restaurant that serves up Caribbean dishes.

2 Canopy Tours Are A Great Way To Explore The Lush Forests

Developed in the 90s, canopy tours consist of sturdy cables that hold thrill-seeking tourists while they're suspended and gliding along the cables that are several hundred feet from the ground. The cables can be as short as 40 feet or as extensive as 1,400 feet! Canopy tours offer tourists a great view of Costa Rica's forests while giving them a chance to see the fragility of the local ecosystem as they're swinging from tree to tree. If you've ever wanted to feel like a monkey, tackling a canopy tour is an ideal excursion for hiking-hating tourists.

1 Oxcarts Are Not Just A Transportation Mode In Costa Rica, It's An Art Statement

Traditionally oxcarts were used throughout history to transport goods and people. Specifically, in Costa Rica, oxcarts were also used to transport coffee beans from the valleys to different regions, often taking several days to complete the journey.  Costa Rica's oxcarts--known as carretas--are well-known for their bright designs and intricate decorations. Oxcarts in Costa Rica are recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage and are a national symbol of the country's rich agricultural history. Bright colors and symbols in the form of shapes and flowers, mini-landscapes, and faces can adorn the carreta, and its creativity is a product of its artist.

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